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"Thou art come, Matiwan-thou art come, but wherefore? To curse, like the father-to curse, like the Manneyto?" mournfully said the captive.
"No, no, no! Not to curse, not to curse. When did mother curse the child she bore? Not to curse, but to bless thee. To bless thee and forgive."
"Tear her away," cried the prophet; "let Opitchi-Manneyto have his slave."
"Tear her away, 'Malatchie," cried the crowd, now impatient for the execution. Malatchie approached.
"Not yet, not yet," appealed the woman. "Shall not the mother say farewell to the child she shall see no more?" and she waved Malatchie back, and in the next instant drew hastily from the drapery of her dress a small hatchet, which she had there carefully concealed.
"What wouldst thou do, Matiwan?" asked Occonestoga, as his eye caught the glare of the weapon.
"Save thee, my boy-save thee for thy mother, Occonestoga-save thee for the happy valley."
"Wouldst thou slay me, mother, wouldst strike the heart of thy son?" he asked, with a something of reluctance to receive death from the hands of a parent.
"I strike thee but to save thee, my son; since they cannot take the totem from thee after the life is gone. Turn away from me thy head-let me not look upon thine eyes as I strike, lest my hands grow weak and tremble. Turn thine eyes away; I will not lose thee."
His eyes closed, and the fatal instrument, lifted above her head, was now visible in the sight of all. The executioner rushed forward to interpose, but he came too late. The tomahawk was driven deep into the skull, and but a single sentence from his lips preceded the final insensibility of of the victim.
Break up that hoe-cake, boys, and hand
I love not it should idly stand,
When Marion's men have need of cheer. 'Tis seldom that our luck affords
A stuff like this we just have quaffed, And dry potatoes on our boards
May always call for such a draught.
Now pile the brush and roll the log;
The cooter crawling o'er the bank,
What! 'tis the signal! start so soon.
And through the Santee swamp so deep, Without the aid of friendly moon,
And we, Heaven help us! half asleep! But courage, comrades! Marion leads,
The Swamp Fox takes us out to-night; So clear your swords, and spur your steeds, There's goodly chance, I think, of fight.
We follow where the Swamp Fox guides, We leave the swamp and cypress tree, Our spurs are in our coursers' sides,
And ready for the strife are we,— The Tory camp is now in sight,
And there he cowers within his den,He hears our shouts, he dreads the fight, He fears, and flies from Marion's men,